Thursday 8 December 2022: Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI) is being recognised as a leader in providing remote mental health services among islands in the Caribbean region.
In November, Karen Grant Simmons, director of mental health services for Bermuda Hospitals Board, presented on telehealth in psychiatry at a virtual meeting of the Nurses Association of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.
Over 280 nurses attended the conference, held on Friday 25 November 2022, among them Caribbean Nurses Organization president Dr Paulette Cash. Ms Grant Simmons’ presentation was so well received that she was invited to help spearhead a project for the region.
“Dr Cash said that the International Council of Nurses has issued a directive for the Caribbean national nurses associations to get on board with telehealth,” said Ms Grant Simmons, a registered psychiatric nurse. “She requested I work with the Caribbean Nurses Organization and other Caribbean islands to move the initiative forward.
“After learning the extent to which we use telehealth at MWI, they are of the view that Bermuda is leading in the region.”
Ms Grant Simmons has agreed to serve on the Special Projects Committee of the Caribbean Nurses Organization. She will help structure and guide creation of telehealth programmes in psychiatry and psychology for the Caribbean islands.
In her presentation, Ms Grant Simmons spoke on the different ways MWI professionals use telehealth, including online meetings with therapists and phone consultations. She said in many cases, MWI clients prefer virtual meetings as they don’t have to deal with the stigma of being seen at a mental health facility. She noted that during our COVID-19 lockdowns, telehealth enabled clients to continue their therapies.